New Rule Exempts Some Employers From Offering Contraceptive Coverage


After defining contraceptive coverage as one of the essential benefits that must be provided by employers free of charge and getting blowback from certain groups, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been altered slightly to appease these groups.

Religious groups in particular opposed this mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which said that all new insurance policies must provide birth control with no copayment. After it initially took effect in August of 2012, a series of legal fights erupted over the issue.

Now, a final rule has been released.

The new rule will allow some employers who have religious objections to contraceptive coverage can get out of having to provide it to their employees. The caveat: according to the Department of Health and Human Services, companies that operate as for-profits will not be able to get an exemption.

In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said,

Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to respect the concerns of houses of worship and other nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage, while helping to ensure that women get the care they need, regardless of where they work.

The definition of a so-called religious employer who could gain exemption is now based purely on codes used by the Internal Revenue Service. This means that churches and other houses of worship will be the only ones who have complete exemptions.

As for the likes of non-profit hospitals and universities that object to contraceptive coverage, the new ruling allows for these employers to make arrangements for separate heallth care coverage plans that women can enroll in at no cost.

The revised ruling can't please everyone, but it has gone a good way in appeasing most of them.

Source: MedPage Today


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